wildfire | KUNR

wildfire

A shot of a prescribed burn taking place earlier this year at the Fishlake National Forest in Utah.
Desert Research Institute

A recent study says the American West should be doing more prescribed burns to keep forests healthy and to help lessen the impacts of wildfires across our region. It also concluded that there needs to be a change in how we perceive the practice out here for that to happen.

Wildfires are still burning across the Mountain West, but far fewer than in the last few years.


Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) speak with reporters, along with California Governor Gavin Newsom and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak.
Bree Zender

During Tuesday’s annual Tahoe Summit, big political names from Nevada and California touted Lake Tahoe’s clarity, and efforts to keep it clear.

However, this year, the focus shifted to the forests beyond the shores. 

Luke Flynt / Unsplash

Wildfires are a common part of life in our region. According to new research, they can also give scientists valuable information about the climate effects of another potential disaster: nuclear war.

Washington State Department of Natural Resources / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing 11,000 miles of fuel breaks throughout our region to help combat the spread of wildfires.

Bree Zender, KUNR Public Radio

Sage and wildflowers bloom along a section of rangeland in Northern Nevada.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

As fire season begins to ramp up across the American West, firefighters in Nevada will have more money this year to battle those blazes. That's due, in part, to new legislation passed by lawmakers during the 2019 session, but that's one of the many environmentally-related bills to come out of the legislature. KUNR's Paul Boger spoke with Daniel Rothberg with the Nevada Independent to break it all down.

Bree Zender

Sierra Nevada snowpacks have been melting faster and faster in recent years, fueled by the effects of climate change. But a new study says that forest fires are also fueling this trend.

Resiliency In The Face Of Climate Change

Apr 17, 2019

Climate change is becoming a reality. According to NASA, over the next century, our planet is likely going to see some pretty significant changes. We’re already seeing rising sea levels due to the melting ice caps, along with storms that are stronger and more frequent.

For people living in the American West, the snowpack is becoming less predictable. Summers are longer and hotter, and severe droughts are pushing us to become more reliant on water reserves. Perhaps most notably, those hotter, drier summers are resulting in more and more wildfires.

Examining Fire Resilience In The American West

Apr 16, 2019
Smoke and burned trees from a wildfire
Photo by Joanne Francis on Unsplash

The ecosystems of the American West are under threat from climate change. Analysis by the Bureau of Land Management says areas like the Great Basin are particularly susceptible, with invasive species, increasing temperatures and years of extreme drought, putting the country’s largest desert at risk. 

Bree Zender

The 35-day government shutdown in late December and January halted federal wildfire preparations throughout the country. For the Sierra Nevada, KUNR found that there were key burn opportunities that were missed in that period. In some areas, prescribed burn opportunities won’t happen until later in the spring, because there’s simply too much snow. 

Bree Zender

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently declared a state of emergency and called on the National Guard to speed up forest management ahead of the upcoming wildfire season.

In the Sierra Nevada, federal forest management officials are behind on prescribed fire treatments due to the 35-day partial federal government shutdown, which was followed by a historic snowfall. 

Bree Zender

Hundreds of researchers agree that climate change is going to alter the way we will live in the coming decades. Every few years, the U.S. Global Change Research Program releases a National Climate Assessment, a comprehensive look into how the country's climate has changed, and what could be ahead.

fire burning trees on mountain
Matt Howard via Unsplash

A recent federal climate change report offers a grim outlook on the future. More wildfires, poorer air-quality and an increase in heat-related illnesses are expected. KUNR’s Anh Gray spoke with Tim Brown, an expert from the Desert Research Institute, to get his perspective on what global warming means for the health and safety of Nevadans.

ALERTWildfire Is Installing More Cameras In Nevada

Dec 4, 2018
An aerial shot of the Camp Fire in Paradise, California.
NASA

A recent climate change report finds wildfires will only grow more destructive and longer lasting. In fact wildfires could burn up to six times more forest area annually by 2050 in parts of the U.S. Even before this climate report, UNR's Graham Kent has been working on expanding the footprint of his Alert Wildfire System to tackle this rapidly growing problem.

A view of the mountains near an asphalt road. The landscape next to the road has been severely burned.
Namaan Horn, Fire Information Officer / Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

Over the weekend, more than 3,200 Nevadans got their first look at the damage caused by a wildfire that blackened one of Nevada's most popular recreation areas in the Ruby Mountains. KUNR's Danna O' Connor has more.

Photo by Edward Olsen, courtesy of Special Collections Department of the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries

Every season, wildfires pose a threat to lives and property throughout our region. And those on the front lines of fighting those fires are often in the greatest danger of all. Historian Alicia Barber looks back at the history of fighting wildland fires in this segment of “Time & Place.”

Paul Boger

2017 was the hottest year on record for most of Northern Nevada. And while the warmer weather has created complications across the region, nowhere may be as impacted as Lake Tahoe. The delicate ecosystem of the continent’s largest alpine lake has been under assault for decades from invasive species, algae growth and decreasing clarity. But area leaders are now concerned that wildfires may pose an even greater threat to the lake.

Bree Zender


A University of Nevada, Reno study has been looking into a new way to restore land that's been burned by wildfire to prevent the land from being charred again. 

Woodchuck Fire Updates

Sep 18, 2017
Washoe County

9:30 p.m. Monday update:

Here's the latest information from a City of Reno press release sent at 8:57 p.m.:

The Reno Fire Department (RFD) responded today at 1:30 p.m. to a fire in west Reno on the west side of Plateau Road. Forward progress on the 62-acre Woodchuck Fire (#WoodchuckFire) was stopped at approximately 5:30 p.m. No residential structures were lost, and no damage to residential structures occurred. There were no injuries to people or to any animals.

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